There are villas in Como, chalets in Switzerland, manors in Estonia, and masserias in Puglia. Masserias are something incredible, the atmosphere of a farmhouse and a chic estate all in one. So what are masserias and what is special about them, read on.
I first heard about them from Masha, whose blog about Puglia I adore! And since then, I’ve been dying to visit them. Masserias are rural estates and farmlands recreated from former noblemen’s estates. Today in Puglia there are several hundred (maybe even a thousand) masserias.
Typically Masseria is a kind of guesthouse (agriturismo) with a restaurant and a hotel, or just a restaurant or hotel, well, you get the idea. But that’s not all, as a rule in the masseria and something else is produced: wine, cheese, butter, bread, sweets, liquors, olive oil, etc. They produce both for personal consumption and for sale.
Masseria as hotels are very different from each other, it can be a small house with simply decorated rooms in rustic style for 50 €, and a luxury hotel, where you will have to pay for the night under 500 €.
We visited two masseria which left us with great emotions and feelings.
Catucci (Agriturismo Masseria Catucci)
It is located 10 km from Alberobello (near Martina Franca). Address: Contrada Capitolo zona B, 121 !
You can both stay there (you can book it on Booking for only 80€) and have a great meal. In our case it was only the second one! Lunch here is served from 12:30, as in many restaurants in Italy (don’t forget that), before that time the chef is not even close to work).
The area is very beautiful and pleasant, we had time to enjoy, as we arrived at 11 and change and waited for lunch overlooking the fields and gardens belonging to the Masseria.
But our wait was rewarded with an insanely delicious lunch.
Homemade pasta with rabbit and Orecchiette with green peas and bacon. Orecchiette is a type of pasta popular in southern Italy, mostly Puglia. They are usually served with meat (pork), capers, and white wine. In fact, I took the white house wine. The cost of the dish is on average 9-12 €. And of course, Primitivo wine. It is the most popular wine of the region!
This was our first Masseria and we loved it!
The second one was Masseria Narducci. We found it by chance, thanks to two Frenchmen, but let me tell you the whole story.
We left our villa in the suburbs of Ostuni, and we went to the famous Masseria Cervarolo, which is only 5 km far from our home. But the road we took was really bad and instead of 5 minutes we drove for 20 minutes through the vineyards on a sandy path on which our Toyota could barely fit… How did we manage not to scratch it – pure luck)). Only warmed the thought of the impending dinner, but as if not. At the masseria, we were turned around, saying that only hotel guests are served in the summer… We were very disappointed and very hungry! There were no more masseria nearby, so we went to Ostuni. Except that after circling around the city for an hour, we could not find free parking (I’m not talking about free parking, there were no paid ones either… ). Leaving the city, we went 10 km in another direction from home to another masseria and on our way there (on a path in an olive grove) we met the very French, who tipped us to the next masseria!
Address: Via Lecce 144, 72016 Montalbano, Italy
Masseria Narducci is near the town of Fasano. It is already a more chic location. The Masseria occupies the building of a historic country house and 3 nights here on Booking costs on average 480€. The mansion is owned by the Narducci family. It produces oil, marmalade, olives, fruits and vegetables. The restaurant serves lunches in addition to dinners.
We decided to have dinner here, having called in advance (10 minutes before arrival) and found out about the availability of seats! I advise you to do so from now on, especially during the peak season (in August).
We settled in the coziest area, under the olive trees.
We ordered appetizers (12€ per person), two second courses (the average cost of a dish is 10-14€), water and wine. Almost all of the dishes were based on zucchini and creamy burrata cheese.
The appetizers were divine. Slices, cheese, fruit, mashed zucchini, zucchini with burrata, zucchini stuffed with vegetables, shrimp, focaccia… I can honestly say that after such an appetizer, you don’t need a second course). And we also ordered zucchini stuffed with something delicious, and pasta with sun-dried tomatoes.
It was insanely delicious and nourishing. Except that we returned home (to a villa near Ostuni) about 20 km in the dark, it was not very comfortable, but it was worth it!